The Best of 2019

All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked 

Amy Boal
Updated January 28, 2020 · 8:23am PST 17.3k votes 2.4k voters 84.1k views 54 items

List Rules Vote up the people, places, things, ideas, memes, and other ~stuff~ that is most defining 2019.

Update: Check out Events Which Defined The Year 2020

What 2019 news, culture, films, memes, and people in general are making headlines and appearing all over whatever feeds you rely on for up-to-date info? To help catalog the year, here are 2019's trending topics, from the biggest news stories to the most popular trends. Some of them directly tie into 2018's most common topics, but 2019 is already making itself stand out in increasingly new and innovative ways. Meghan and Harry have welcomed Archie The Sussex Baby to the world, Game of Thrones upset pretty much everyone, and Aunty Becky made a big mistake. But what will happen next? Will millennials kill Facebook at last? Will people care about yet another Avengers film (spring update: they really did!)? Will Bird Box still be a thing come summer (spring update: no, not really)? From the top trending topics in the world, to notable memes, this is everything that went viral in 2019.

What were the biggest and most famous topics in 2019? Which 2019 cultural events had the biggest impact? What happened in 2019 and left a mark? Which of these things did your mom ask you to explain? Vote up the stuff that most represents 2019 to you. And if you want a month-by-month breakdown, check out the trending topics of January, February, MarchAprilMay, JuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember, and December 2019

1
The First Picture Of A B... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
The First Picture Of A Black Hole

On April 10, the Event Horizon Telescope captured the first photo ever of a black hole. The photo looks just as Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity would suggest, as spacetime is warped by the black hole's substantial mass. 

2
Area 51 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

The event "Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us" popped up on Facebook and 1.5 million users RSVP'd. Though many assume the event is a joke, the number of people interested in storming the government base prompted the US Air Force to warn against a civil invasion.

3
The Amazon Rainforest Fi... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
The Amazon Rainforest Fires

In August 2019, Brazil's space research center INPE said the Amazon rainforest, home to nearly 3 million plant and animal species, and 1 million indigenous people, saw an 84% increase in fires from 2018. The rainforest is a vital source of carbon contributing to the health of the planet.

According to the INPE, fires in the Amazon are normal during the country's dry season, but 2019 saw almost 73,000 fires through August, and National Geographic ecologist Thomas Lovejo suggests the cause is land clearing instructed by President Jair Bolsonaro. 

4
Avengers: Endgame is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

The conclusion to 2018's Infinity War brought in a staggering $1.2 billion globally in its first weekend alone. Fans laughed, cried, and beat up people who spoiled the film. 

5
Notre Dame Cathedral is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

On April 15, a fire started in the attic of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. The blaze quickly spread throughout the iconic structure. The fire was put out nine hours after it started, just after the cathedral's spire completely burned and collapsed. Authorities opened an investigation, as the cause of the fire is unknown.

6
'OK Boomer' is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
'OK Boomer'

In response to the growing distaste between generations, Generation Z as well as some younger millennials adopted the phrase "OK Boomer" to fight back against claims that they "don't ever want to grow up."

"OK Boomer" became a media sensation, with countless kids and young adults creating art projects, merchandise, memes, and videos for what The New York Times described as a "rallying cry."

7
The Child (Baby Yoda) is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

In November, The Mandalorian debuted on Disney+ and with it came the relentlessly adorable Child, whom fans dubbed "Baby Yoda" due to his resemblance to the titular green Jedi.  

8
Ranker Video
Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' Remix Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus

Lil Nas X released a remix of his song "Old Town Road" with Billy Ray Cyrus, and the country community was split on how to take the country-trap bop. We all got horses in the back now.

9
The Christchurch Mosque ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
The Christchurch Mosque Terror Attacks

On March 15, a white supremacist terrorist live-streamed two shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and the Lindwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, New Zealand. He killed 50 people. The act added fuel to the continuous debate on gun control. 

10
Greta Thunberg Addresses... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
Greta Thunberg Addresses The UN

At the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations General Assembly in regard to an apparent apathy toward climate change. 

Thunberg's speech rang true for many climate change activist around the globe. She inspired a worldwide walk out when she began hosting weekly sit-ins outside the Swedish Parliament with a "School Climate Strike" sign. By September, over 100 countries saw students, employees, and ordinary people join her in her protest.

11
The President Is Impeach... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
The President Is Impeached

In a historic moment in American politics, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on December 18 for obstructing congress and misusing his power. He is the third President to face being removed from office by the Senate.  

He is accused of pressuring Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensk "to announce an investigation" against Democratic front runner Joe Biden during the 2016 election

12
Keanu Reeves is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

Between his unplanned road trip with fellow United Airlines passengers to his cameo in Netflix's Always Be My Maybe, Keanu Reeves has reemerged as one of 2019's biggest stars. 

13
Joker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

Joker stands alone in its interpretation of the clown prince of crime. It follows Arthur Fleck as he transforms from an outcast clown-for-hire and failed comedian into Gotham's most ardent nemesis. 

Todd Phillips' adaptation, released October 4, broke the record for highest grossing R-rated film of all time with $788.1 million in worldwide ticket sales.

14
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

The HBO cultural force went out with a whimper, leaving most fans disappointed, and even angry.

15
US Women's Soccer Team W... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
US Women's Soccer Team Wins The World Cup

On July 7, the US women's soccer team defeated the Netherlands 2-0 and won the World Cup for the fourth year. 

16
Hurricane Dorian is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas during the first weekend in September and continued up through the East Coast from Florida to Canada. When Dorian hit the Bahamas, it was a Category 5 storm, the strongest storm to have ever touched down on the island. The storm officially claimed at least 45 victims by the time it settled in Canada. 

Evacuees from the Bahamas landed in Nassau or Florida with nearly 70,000 people on the island without food or shelter.

17
The College Admissions S... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
The College Admissions Scandal

On March 12, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and other parents were arrested for allegedly bribing college officials and athletic heads to get their children into some of the country's most elite universities. The revelation sparked outrage and reignited the debate surrounding the exclusivity of higher education. 

18
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

The president announced October 27 that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was slain in a US raid. The president said removing the ISIS leader was "the top national security priority of [his] administration."

No US personnel perished in the raid, but the president announced that casualties included two of Baghdadi's wives, who were wearing self-immolation vests, and three children the ISIS leader took with him in his attempt to find refuge in a tunnel.

19
US / China Trade War is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
US / China Trade War

President Trump imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese exports to the US in May. The president indicated that China would foot the bill, while American economic thinkers and organizations, including White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, say US consumers will bear at least some of the financial burden as well.

20
Everyone Running for Pre... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
Everyone Running for President in 2020

20+ Democrats are vying to challenge Trump, while William F. Weld is the only Republican challenger to date.

21
thank u, next is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

Pop superstar Ariana Grande made fans' year when she released thank u, next, her fifth studio album. The album came only six months after her album Sweetener - and just months after her very public breakup with SNL star Pete Davidson

22
The Government Shutdown ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
The Government Shutdown

A partial government shutdown spanned the last weeks of 2018, into 2019, the result of disagreements between President Trump and the Democratic Party over funding for a border wall.

23
Star Wars: Episode IX - ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

The final film in the latest Star Wars trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, premiered December 20th. Rey practices her Jedi training as she faces the First Order as well as questions about her identity. 

24
Bird Box is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked

The 2018 Netflix film inspired countless 2019 memes and led to a social media challenge in which participants had to go about their regular days blindfolded. Even Netflix said, "Please do not hurt yourselves."

25
Grounding Boeing 737 Max... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2019, Ranked
Grounding Boeing 737 Max Airplanes

On March 10, Ethopian Airlines flight 302 crashed after takeoff, killing all 157 of its passengers. Less than six months prior, another Boeing 737 Max crashed and killed all 189 of its passengers. Countries and airlines quickly grounded the model

On June 2, Boeing said some of its 737s, including the 737 Max airplane, might have faulty wing parts.